Qatar has a handful of mobile operators to choose from. Deciding which one is the “best” depends on your needs and preferences when it comes to coverage, speed, price, and other factors. This article provides a detailed overview of all Qatar mobile operators, outlines key criteria for choosing the best one, compares their offerings, and answers common questions to help you pick the right operator for you.

Qatar Mobile Operators

I. List of Qatar Mobile Operators

1. Main Qatar Mobile Operators

There are two major mobile network operators (MNOs) that dominate the mobile market in Qatar:

Mobile Operator Year Launched Ownership No. of Subscribers (million) Network Details
Ooredoo 1987 (as Qtel) Government of Qatar 2.6 million - First provider in Qatar - Rebranded to Ooredoo in 2013 - Offers nationwide 4G and 5G network
Vodafone Qatar 2009 Vodafone Group (50%), QNB (30%), Qatar Holding (20%) 1 million - Joint venture between Vodafone Group and Qatar businesses - Extensive 4G network in major cities and towns

In summary, Ooredoo and Vodafone Qatar are the dominant mobile operators in Qatar, with Ooredoo holding the largest market share thanks to its earlier start and broader network footprint nationwide. Competition between the two has accelerated Qatar’s digital transformation.

2. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) in Qatar

In addition to the two MNOs, there are also some mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that provide services in Qatar by piggybacking on the networks of the main operators:

  • TracFone – Sells inexpensive prepaid wireless plans in the US using Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Targets value-conscious customers.
  • Lycamobile – International MVNO operating in several countries offering low-cost plans tailored for migrant communities. Uses various MNO networks.
  • Virgin Mobile – Known for affordable no-contract plans on Sprint’s network in the US. Also operates as an MVNO in other markets like Canada and Australia.
  • Boost Mobile – US prepaid brand of Dish Network using T-Mobile’s network. Popular for bringing competition to the prepaid sector.
  • Tesco Mobile – UK-based MVNO established by the Tesco supermarket chain. Runs on O2’s network and sells bundled phone packages.
  • Lebara Mobile – Global MVNO headquartered in London, offering low-cost international calling plans. Leverages multiple networks across its markets.
  • Koodo Mobile – Canadian regional MVNO operating on the Telus network. Competitively priced plans targeted at value-conscious users.
  • Mint Mobile – US MVNO running on T-Mobile’s network known for ultra-affordable unlimited plans sold online only.

These MVNOs can offer cheaper rates by renting network access rather than owning infrastructure. However, coverage and speeds depend on the parent networks.

II. How to Choose the Best Qatar Mobile Operators

When deciding which Qatar mobile operator is best for your needs, here are some key factors to consider:

1. Network Coverage & Reliability

Broadband and high fidelity should be a significant consideration for the network coverage. Go for the operator which gives robust 4G LTE signals at places where you reside, work, and visit. If possible, test coverage on free operator SIM cards.

2. Internet Data Speeds

Every network in Qatar provides fast 4G/LTE wireless data. However, speed tests may show significantly higher peak speeds with some operators especially when streaming many HD videos and playing mobile games.

3. Pricing of Monthly Plans

Assess the pricing for call and SMS allowance depending on your usage needs. You should also find out about over-the-top taxes, throttling policies, and bundle discounts for mobile plus home broadband.

4. Customer Service Reputation

Quiz your neighbors and friends on how good people’s wait times, store experiences, call centers’ helpfulness in addressing problems, and ease of issue handling.

III. Best Qatar Mobile Operators – Detailed Comparison

Analyzing the major operators across the above criteria reveals the strengths of each:

Criteria Vodafone  Ooredoo
Market Share Around 30% Around 70%
Network Bandwidth Broad 4G bandwidth on most popular frequencies Widest 4G bandwidth including advanced frequencies
Coverage Extensive 4G coverage in major cities and suburbs Near-complete 4G/5G coverage nationwide
4G Coverage Available in key population areas Ubiquitous high-speed 4G coverage everywhere
Objects of Use Smartphones, tablets, wireless broadband All devices including hottest smartphones, tablets, IoT
Average Price $15-25/month for plans $20-30/month for plans but with occasional bonuses

To sum up, although they provide advanced mobile services Ooredoo is a wider brand because it started earlier. However, Vodafone Qatar is not far behind in offering good value using competitive pricing. Thus in terms of balanced coverage and affordability, Ooredoo may provide slightly better options for most users while Vodafone can come up as a good alternative to lower priced users. Concerning the general population of Qatar, both operators offer satisfactory service.

IV. Where to Buy SIM Cards from Qatar Mobile Operators?

It’s easy to purchase a local SIM card from all the major operators by visiting one of their stores located across Qatar:

1. Ooredoo

Ooredoo has the largest retail footprint with dedicated stores in nearly every mall. Standalone stores can also be found scattered across Doha and major towns.

Ooredoo - Mobile Operator in Qatar
Ooredoo – Mobile Operator in Qatar

2. Vodafone

Look for Vodafone shops inside malls like Villagio, Landmark, Doha Festival City, and Pearl-Qatar. Vodafone also has standalone branded stores, though fewer locations than Ooredoo.

Vodafone - Mobile Operator in Qatar
Vodafone – Mobile Operator in Qatar

💡 Tips

When buying in-store, you'll need to provide ID and pay around 6.85 USD - 13.71 USD for the SIM card. Top-up vouchers can also be purchased. Most staff speak English, with some stores having dedicated English zones.

V. Do Qatar Mobile Operators Offer eSIM?

Yes, the two major operators provide eSIM functionality paired with cellular plans in Qatar:

1. Ooredoo eSIM

Ooredoo launched its eSIM service in 2020. It allows you to activate a data plan on supporting smartwatches, tablets, and laptops without using a physical nano-SIM.

To use Ooredoo eSIM, you must first have an existing postpaid mobile account with them. You then assign supplementary eSIM profiles for each compatible device through their app or online dashboard.

2. Vodafone eSIM

Like Ooredoo, Vodafone Qatar introduced eSIM support in 2020. Customers can add eSIM profiles to additional gadgets and quickly swap data plans between them via their Vodafone app.

So with both leading operators, Qatar subscribers can enjoy the convenience of eSIM paired with mobile plans. This allows cellular connectivity on more devices without juggling multiple physical SIM cards.

A better choice is purchasing a small eSIM plan from One of the great advantages of is being able to buy a plan online at any time from anywhere. Upon purchase, the QR code is instantly emailed. Scanning this immediately connects your eligible device to the internet.

Find the best plans for your trip below:

Plan that may interest you

Qatar eSIM 7 Days Plan
Qatar eSIM 7 Days Plan
From $5.50
Qatar eSIM 15 Days Plan
Qatar eSIM 15 Days Plan
From $9.90
Qatar eSIM 30 Days Plan
Qatar eSIM 30 Days Plan
From $13.50

There is no need for additional payments or deposits when purchasing from Using eSIM now provides quality network coverage and affordable plans. It’s a convenient choice for traveling within Qatar or abroad. Just order the plan you need, get connected with a simple QR code scan, and enjoy reliable internet access wherever you are.


Which operator has better rural coverage in Qatar?

Ooredoo has invested significantly in providing broader coverage across Qatar, including more remote and rural areas outside cities. Its network reaches 99% population coverage.

Do operators offer 5G service in Qatar?

Yes, Ooredoo launched 5G home broadband in 2018 using a 3.5 GHz spectrum. In 2020, Vodafone activated its own 5G network by upgrading sites across Qatar. 5G mobile coverage is still in the early stages but expanding.

Can tourists get prepaid SIM cards in Qatar?

Yes, Qatar has prepaid SIM packs aimed at travelers and short-stay visitors. Bring your passport to any Ooredoo, Vodafone, or Virgin store.

Which has the fastest Internet speeds in Qatar?

Ookla’s Speedtest Intelligence indicates that Ooredoo provided the fastest average 4G download speeds at around 36Mbps as of 2022. But there was minimal difference compared to Vodafone’s 33Mbps, with both networks capable of 100+ Mbps peak speeds.

VII. Final Words

When comparing top contenders Ooredoo and Vodafone, either operator can fulfill most users’ needs for solid coverage, fast 4G speeds, and generous bundled plans in Qatar. For budget-conscious expats and visitors, MVNO Virgin Mobile Qatar also deserves consideration. Weigh up all options aligned to your connectivity priorities and budget to decide the best SIM and plan choice.